Who is the Elegant Woman?

How To Be A Lady – Page Two

How To Be A Lady of Character

A lady remains composed.

No matter what the situation, she tries her best to keep her composure and calm. She knows that no matter how she freaks out, it is not going to help the matter. Keeping her cool and being calm enables her to employ her best action.

A lady does not steal someone’s thunder

Upstaging the bride, turning the conversation to oneself or taking over the conversation, talking incessantly about herself or talking non-stop for that matter is not something she would do.

She gives credit when credit is due, better yet, she gives away all the credit and singles out people who have made it a team effort.

How to be a lady, then?

If she has been to Italy many times, and someone who just came back from Italy for the first time, she does not take this time to share her experiences but very nicely asks, “Did you enjoy it?” and lets her talk about her experience.

She does not have a know-it-all attitude.

Despite her qualifications, she does not let her appearance communicate the “I-know-better”. She keeps this to herself and retains a humble attitude. In fact, the more one knows, the more they are humble about it, because they understand that it is impossible for anyone to know everything or achieve it all. She does not make anyone feel less or stupid.

A lady does not expect everyone to like her, think like her, agree with her or be friends with her.

No matter how nice she is, she understands that about one-in-ten people she meets may not like her in the way she would like. She simply goes about her business, remaining friendly and polite. She’ll not be desperate about it and go the extra mile to make someone like her.

How to be a lady?

She also does not expect everyone to agree with her all the time or have the same values or thinking. She accepts individuality and respects personal choice. She is comfortable with differences.

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She keeps her word.

She respects deadlines and keeps them. She also remembers words no matter how friendly they are, are not to be taken lightly. She acknowledges that words have power. She knows that she can refuse to talk about anything if she doesn’t want to.

She also means what she says and she remembers her promises, even if the other party does not.

She never talks too much about a subject. She does not bother go into too much detail, There is always a slight regret after one talks too much.

How To Be A Lady At Work

She is formal in her emails at work.

She writes in a respectful and business like manner, knowing that it is important to keep it short, to the point and make her requests clear.

She uses the subject in her email to allow someone to identify it immediately. She also leaves adequate contact details.

Though blackberries and email-on-the-go are common these days, she does not assume that an email can replace an text message on the phone or a phone call.

She does not expect a reply immediately and will wait up to a few days to re-send that email. She also understands that if it is truly urgent, she will not depend on email but will use the phone, make a trip to the office, or send a registered letter.

At work, she is respectful to all she works with, and does not treat people differently according to rank and position within the company.

She does not act like she works hard only when the boss walks in. She does not claim all the credit when she hands over a report, if the work has been shared. Neither does she speaks with positivity, smiles and energy to those above her, rudely and coldly, grumbling to those who work under her.

How To Be A Lady At A Party

At a party or a wedding, she does not talk about work or business or use the opportunity to make a sales pitch.

It is never proper to hand out business cards at personal events of celebrations: a wedding, a Christmas party or a dinner party. It is not a place to do business, to network or gain clients, out of respect for your host.

There is a place to do that. Never ask for a business card. If someone asks for yours, adhere to the request in a very quiet manner.

If you do want to make the contact, suggest that the person contact the host to get your contact or say that you will contact your host to get their details.

Though this is off-the-record and highly advised to use personal discretion, to get their full name and add them on Facebook.

When meeting someone for the first time, stand to shake his/her hands.

When being introduced, kindly stand so that everyone may see who you are.

A lady is always a great guest at parties.

She never arrives too early or late and always brings a gift. She dresses up and appropriately for the party.

She never shows up with or as an uninvited guest to the party without first asking permission.

She socializes, gets acquainted with everyone and engages in pleasant conversations. She does not hog any guest or monopolize the conversations.

She keeps her conversation light and friendly.

She never asks to be shown around the house unless she is offered a tour. She never ventures into personal areas like the bedroom, bathroom other than the allocated party area.

She doesn’t take or touch things or be too friendly to help herself to the fridge (unless requested to). She sends a thank you note after the party.

When invited to a party, she does not ask, “Who will be going?”

This show a conditional acceptance and is not particularly gracious. It exhibits a self-absorbed focus instead of the appreciation of being invited.

If you have some concerns, do find other ways and be tactful about it. She also rsvp as quickly as possible, with the view that her host will have an easier time planning.

If she declines, she gives a straight forward answer instead of, “I’ll let you know, I might be coming.” (and often as it happens, the ‘I’ll let you know if I can come’ 95% ends up as without any further response or attendance.)

If you said you are coming, ensure that you be there. I cannot count the number of times I’ve heard very generous hosts complained she cooked for 20 but only 15 came.

And as a horrifying result, some texted to say they cannot come at 9pm when the party starts at 8pm with very stupid reasons and many simply did not show. It is an incredibly inconsideration.

How To Be A Lady Socially

She asks permission before giving out the phone number of her friend.

She also never calls anyone after 1030 pm and before 9 am, unless it is an absolute emergency.

A lady knows her boundaries and does not overstep it.

She does not call by first name unless asked. She does not turn up unannounced to someone’s home. She never asks about what someone’s home is worth, profit margin, or how much money they make or earn.

She never makes an enquiry about how many people the other person in her company has dated, their sexual history or go into any intimate details. She also never asks how much something costs, amount spend per head at the wedding, where they bought it from, at least NOT directly.

She knows that even if so-and-so is her bestfriend, and calls her her best friend, she cannot expect to gain that ‘title’ in return but is graciously happy when it is returned.

She does not expect her ‘best friend’ to tell her everything, or keep nothing from her but respect her wishes.

She also makes her request known clearly, for example, if she could have the price brought down due to a defect, but does not persist relentlessly or to say something that makes the sales assistant feel uncomfortable and avoid her eyes.

P.s. I know when you are close to someone, all the above does not matter, but this is written only to encourage discretion and to be sensitive.

How To Be A Lady With Your Phone

During dinner, or having a meal with someone, she does not chat on her phone.

Depending on the formality of the situation, she does not turns her phone to silent and does not take calls during a formal dinner. If casual, she answers only if the call seems urgent and rings them back an hour later after the meal is over. If she does take the call, she offers immediately to call them back after her social engagement.

She certainly does not chat, resolve any issue etc.

How To Be A Lady When Traveling

At a hotel, or a friend’s house, she leaves the place as it was before.

She tries to clear her rubbish, neaten the place, or clean the sink if there are watermarks.

How To Be A Lady With Integrity

She does not cancel at every whim. She is dependable when you make a social engagement with her.

I certainly enjoy meeting up with these people and are very happy that most friends bear this trait. If they said that they will turn up, they will definitely do, no matter how many people are already at a party. They show a committed, disciplined character with high integrity.

How To Be A Lady in the Art of Conversation

A lady never interrupts someone mid-sentence.

A lady should never try to guess before someone speaking finishes her sentence and should never try to interrupt.

Although, I do understand when we sometimes enter into conversation with someone who talks incessantly. I try my very best to relax and let the person continue chattering while I keep very quiet.

Sooner or later, she will realize and give you room to speak. I often notice as well, people who talk too much, do not listen as well. So take extra care to ensure you have communicated clearly.

A lady refrains from giving unsolicited explanations.

If you do not choose to smoke, drink or take some chocolate. Simply say no and perhaps ask for something else. It is really not necessary to go on further. Sometimes we add on because we feel a little insecure or perhaps sense your friend wondering and would like to help out by answering before being asked.

I had a humiliating experience when I was in my teens. My mother insisted I carry a cell phone to school because she had bought one for me, but at that time, no one had cell phones except the ‘rich kids’.

I was not rich (but had a generous mother), nor was comfortable being labeled as ‘rich’ and wanted to be like everyone else. (I even kept my leather designer purse at home that my mother bought me on her business trip and bought an ordinary one – faux leather – for myself at the local mall to avoid embarrassing questions to how much it cost etc. )

From a young age, I never felt comfortable parading anything that other children didn’t have – so when my friends found out that I had a cell phone, they asked to look at it. I sheepishly handed it over and proceeded to explain how I got it – how my mother had a great discount etc. There was one guy who looked at me straight in the eye and said, “I asked to see it, not to get an explanation.”

How to be a lady?

From then on, I learned to shut up and not apologize for anything, yet graciously responding.

How To Be A Lady In The Company Of Others

A lady makes an effort to remember names and pronounce them correctly.

She repeats their names after being introduced to make sure she got them right. She uses a memory game to ensure that she remembers their name.

I know it in my heart that it is an excuse when I say, I’m bad with names.

She asks permission before giving out the phone number of her friend.

She also never calls anyone after 1030 pm and before 9 am, unless it is an absolute emergency.

Proper introduction: Introduce the younger to the older, the man to the woman

If there is rank, introduce the ‘lower’ rank to the one ‘higher one’. Though I do not feel that we have to strictly adhere to this, use your own discretion with this general guideline.

Never assume that your friends know each other or have introduced themselves.

How to be a lady?

A lady never brags, she makes light of her achievements when praised.

She also quickly changes the topic after graciously saying her ‘Thank yous’. She never brags especially about luxury items if someone present might be struggling with a small income. She never says things to make other people feel small or says things to make only herself feel better.

She also never laughs or makes jokes at other people’s expenses.

Even though it has been many years, I can still recollect the painful memories when I was a child, a teenager, a young woman of being laughed at. They could be due to the lack of income, of designer things, lack of sophistication, lack of knowledge of clever things etc.

I get laughed at my inability to speak fluent ‘local’ Mandarin, for being too skinny, for saying a wrong word etc.

I never want others to ever feel how I felt and go through extra pains to never make anyone feel terrible about themselves. Its better to encourage them.

A lady refrains from asking uncomfortable questions.

“Have you lost/gained weight?”

“Is it real?” (gold/diamond/designer goods etc)

“How much did it cost?”

“What grade/specs is your diamond?”

“What happened to your face?”

“What is that on your face?” (usually a very big pimple or a rash)

“You don’t remember me do you?”

“Is that your boyfriend?”

“When is it your turn?” (to get married, have a child etc)

“Why did you get retrenched? What happened to your old job?”

If you really have to ask, please try to be indirect or be sensitive that your friend might be uncomfortable or really does not want to talk about it.

And please do not use the age-old disclaimer, “I don’t mean to intrude,” or “I hope you don’t mind me asking…”

She does not speak in another language to another person. if there are others in the room who cannot understand. She never whispers or points at someone and laugh.

If you can’t communicate in the general language of the party, try your very best to speak privately, or look at your other guests and say, excuse me for a bit, I need to explain what that means in Indonesian for her.

Its best to keep to topics where you can engage in speaking in the main language if there is someone else who only understands the basics. Do not let the party go on with a constant translation – it is inconsiderate to the other guests.

Whispering or cupping your hand over the person’s ear is no no. Both looking at a person, then smiling and laughing out loud is also offensive. It makes the person of the subject very insecure.

If you need to speak privately, do so out of the view of others. Send a sms message discreetly if you really must.

* End of How To Be A Lady series Page two *

Thank you for reading the second page of ‘How To Be A Lady’!

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